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Experts warn that drunk driving and multitasking are the same

You always have a lot to do, so you usually multitask in the car. You listen to voicemails, check your email, and talk on the phone. You want to make the most of your time and get things done on your commute, not just after you get to work.

At the same time, you'd never drink and drive. You know how dangerous it is. Yes, you don't want a ticket, but you really don't want to put yourself and others in danger.

According to a number of experts, you already are. They say that multitasking while behind the wheel is really not that different from driving drunk.

One University of Michigan professor of psychology claimed that driving performance was equally poor for those who were under the influence and those who were on their phones. At the same time, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist claimed that many things on the road happen within someone's vision, but that those who are on their phones tend not to see these events, even in their visual periphery.

He claimed that was true not just for texting, but for talking on the phone. It's hard for the brain to split power between multiple activities, so a driver who is thinking about a conversation may not see obvious hazards that are coming up, even if he or she is looking at them.

Distractions on the road are incredibly serious, and modern distractions go far beyond alcohol. If you are hit by a distracted driver or an impaired driver, be sure you know all about your legal rights.

Source: National Public Radio, "Multitasking In The Car: Just Like Drunken Driving," Jon Hamilton, accessed Sep. 14, 2017

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